FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Reeks of Secret-Police Tyranny

Marine One lifts-off after returning President Donald J. Trump to Mar-a-Lago Friday, March 29, 2019, following his visit to the 143-mile Herbert Hoover Dike near Canal Point, Fla., that surrounds Lake Okeechobee. The visit was part of an infrastructure inspection of the dike, which is part of the Kissimmee-Okeechobee Everglades system, and reduces impacts of flooding for areas of south Florida. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian). Via Wikimedia Commons.

Editor’s note: An abridged version of this opinion piece originally appeared at American Spectator and is available here.

Conservatives lately have complained that the dinosaur media have devolved into an arm of the Democrat National Committee. The Big Three networks and key print organs parrot the Left’s talking points, defend Democrat politicians, and hammer Republican and conservative luminaries.

The U.S. Department of Justice now joins the major media as yet another unit of the DNC.

This fact is confirmed by Monday’s nine-hour-long FBI raid on President Donald J. Trump’s private residence at Palm Beach’s Mar-A-Lago resort. News accounts indicate that  30 FBI agents entered Trump’s home, seized 12 boxes of documents (two-and-a-half G-men per box), cracked into a safe (which reportedly was empty), and vacuumed up other documents at the opulent retreat that has been Trump’s home since he departed the White House on January 20, 2021.

This action is unprecedented. Never in America’s 246-year history has a former president’s abode been breached by federal investigators. Symbolically, this was a raid not just on Trump but also on the 74 million Americans who voted for him in 2020.

Beyond illustrating the Justice Department’s canine-like loyalty to Democrats, this escalation in the relentless anti-Trump probes also proves that the words above the entrance to the U.S. Supreme Court – “Equal Justice Under Law” — have devolved from core principle to punchline to cruel taunt.

Equality before the law is dead. America now has a two-track justice system consisting of impunity for Democrats and the Left and persecution for Republicans and the Right. Consider these examples of Justice’s thoroughly politicized conflicting approaches:

The FBI did not raid Hillary Clinton’s home, where she maintained an illegal computer server laden with State Department e-mails. Among 30,490 of these, some 2,100 were classified. After Congressional investigators subpoenaed this server, Clinton shipped it to a Colorado facility where it was digitally sandblasted with an erasure software called BleachBit. These e-mails were expunged so thoroughly, according to then-Congressman Trey Gowdy (R –South Carolina), “even God couldn’t read them.”

Hillary’s computer specialist Justin Cooper helped install her renegade server and assisted the Democrat war horse with cell phones and other technology. Congressional sleuths subpoenaed these items. According to a September 2016 FBI report, Cooper “did recall two instances where he destroyed Clinton’s old mobile devices by breaking them in half or hitting them with a hammer.”

Then-FBI Director James Comey declared on July 5, 2016, that Hillary Clinton had 2,113 classified e-mails on her do-it-yourself home computers and that “All of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government — or even with a commercial service like Gmail.” Nonetheless, “We are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case.”

Comey began drafting his whitewash of Hillary on May 2, 2016,  60 days before she sat down for a July 2 interrogation with the FBI, for which she was not even under oath. Indeed, Comey started his exculpatory remarks before at least 12 material witnesses in this case even were interviewed!

The only price Hillary ever saw was the undisclosed amount that Simon & Schuster paid her to write What Happened, in which she blamed everyone but herself for her catastrophic loss to Trump in 2016.

— There was no raid on the home of James Comey after he walked out of the FBI with internal memoranda related to Trump’s alleged ties to the Kremlin, one of which was classified. Comey leaked these to his friend Daniel Richman, a professor at Columbia University Law School. Professor Richman, in turn, forwarded these secrets to his contacts at the so-called Paper of Record. This triggered Justice’s special counsel probe of Trump, which was the entire point of this skullduggery. Trump was hounded by this inquest until he ultimately was exonerated of having ties to anything more nefarious than Russian dressing. The only consequences for Comey’s illegality were a criminal referral that went nowhere, six-figure speaking fees, a $3 million contract with Bridgewater Associates to write the best-selling A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership; and The Comey Rule, a Showtime miniseries in which Jeff Daniels portrayed the ex-FBI chief.

— There was no raid on the home of former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D – New York). His wife, Hillary aide Huma Abedin, had a “regular practice” of forwarding classified e-mails from Hillary’s computer, to her own, and then to Weiner’s — as Comey testified on Capitol Hill. “My understanding is that his role would be to print them out as a matter of convenience,” Comey said. Weiner’s computer bore two classified e-mails and ten e-mail chains with classified material. If anyone deserved to be raided, it was a disgraced sexual deviant who was compromised and wide-open to extortion. It’s easy to imagine a foreign diplomat tracking down this pervert and telling him: “Hand over the secrets, Mr. Weiner, and we’ll forget all about those naughty erotic pictures of you that would fascinate the news media.”

— There were no raids on the homes of Lois Lerner or other IRS officials involved in the tax-collection agency’s anti-conservative political-profiling scandal. By slow-walking or rejecting the tax-exempt-status applications of various Tea Party and related center-Right groups, the IRS crippled hundreds of these fledgling grassroots organizations just before Obama sought re-election in 2012. As for Lerner’s computer hard drive that GOP congressional investigators sought, IRS sent it to a federal facility in Florida where it was torn to pieces in an industrial-strength machine called an AMERI-SHRED AMS-750HD. As for Lerner, she collected her $177,000 salary while on administrative leave, retired in 2013, and — ever since — has enjoyed her full, $100,000 annual pension.

— There was no raid on the home of President Barack Obama’s first Attorney General Eric Holder. Never mind that the U.S. House voted him in contempt of Congress in June 2012 for not surrendering documents related to the Fast and Furious scandal. Holder finished his tenure at Justice with this contempt citation weighing on him less heavily than a fruit fly hovering above a glass of Pinot Noir.

— There was no raid on the home of President Bill Clinton’s National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, even after he walked out of the National Archives with classified materials stuffed into his socks – for real — in May 2002 and fall 2003. According to Wikipedia: “In April 2005, Berger pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material from the National Archives in Washington, D.C.,” charges eerily reminiscent of the latest anti-Trump accusations. “Berger was fined $50,000, sentenced to serve two years of probation and 100 hours of community service, and stripped of his security clearance for three years.” Berger did not spend one day in jail. He also reportedly failed to tell the FBI exactly which records he swiped and cut up with scissors, as he was directed. And then he died.

— There was no raid on the home of former Director of Central Intelligence John Deutch. As CIA technologists discovered after Deutch left office in December 1996, his personal computers contained 31 files with highly classified information. The Justice Department decided not to prosecute Deutch. While the CIA suspended his security clearance in August 1999, President Clinton pardoned Deutch on January 20, 2000 — hours before Clinton left the presidency. This clemency obviated Deutch’s deal with Justice to plead guilty to a misdemeanor for retaining classified data and pay a $5,000 fine. Deutch subsequently has enjoyed an esteemed academic career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he teaches to this day.

Conversely:

— The FBI raided President Donald J. Trump’s Mar-A-Lago home on  August 8. Why did it not rely on discussions with Trump’s legal team to have the documents in question either returned to the National Archives or collected from Mar-A-Lago in a less authoritarian fashion? Justice also could have issued a subpoena and gone from there, as is the normal course of action. The FBI’s search warrant was approved by U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, an Obama donor and documented Trump hater. On January 14, 2017, referring to the late Georgia Democrat congressman, Reinhart wrote via Twitter: “Thank you, Robert Reich, for saying what many of us feel, ‘John Lewis is the conscience of America. Donald Trump doesn’t have the moral stature to kiss John Lewis’s feet.’” Reinhart recused himself last June 22 in a lawsuit that Trump filed against Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. The anti-Trump Reinhart should have done the same in this matter.

— The FBI raided the home of Jeffrey Clark, a Trump-supporting former Justice Department official and critic of the November 2020 election’s multifarious frauds and anomalies. According to Russell Vought, Trump’s former Director of the Office of Management and Budget and now chief of the Center for Renewing America: “Yesterday more than a dozen DoJ law enforcement officials searched Jeff Clark’s house in a pre-dawn raid, put him in the streets in his pajamas, and took his electronic devices.”

— The FBI raided the home of Trump’s long-time associate and lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani in April 2021 as part of a federal investigation into the former president’s business activities. This act drove a Panzer tank over the sacred concept of attorney-client privilege.

— The FBI raided the home of Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone in January 2019 and then arrested him on charges of obstruction of justice and other matters. Stone was convicted on seven felony counts and sentenced to 40 months in prison. Trump commuted his sentence before Stone was incarcerated and then pardoned him on December 23, 2020.

— The FBI raided the home and office of Trump’s then-attorney Michael Cohen in April 2018, thus striking yet another blow against attorney-client privilege. Cohen pled guilty to tax evasion and campaign finance violations. He was sentenced to three years in federal prison and spent a year and two weeks in the clink.

— The FBI raided the home of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in August 2017 and then arrested him on charges related to the Russiagate probe. Manafort was sentenced to 47 months in prison for tax and bank fraud, conspiracy, and witness tampering. He was behind bars from June 2018 to May 2020. Trump pardoned Manafort on December 23, 2020.

America officially has a two-track justice system: Kid gloves and impunity for the Left. Raids, arrests, and orange jumpsuits for the Right.

Welcome to the United States of Venezuela.

Manhattan-based political commentor Deroy Murdock is a Fox News contributor.


Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.


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